Franklin Vanquishes All Opponents

Bartell,T (2429) – Gulko,B (2587) [E53]
USCL Philadelphia vs New Jersey, 23.08.2010

” 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Classical Nimzo Indian 4…0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.a3 , an unusual move order; usually white just completes development: Nf3, 0-o, and then worries about what to do with the bishop [6.Nf3 c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.a3] 6…Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 dxc4 to keep a nice pawn structure, the bishop will have a good home after b6 [7…c5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Ne2] 8.Bxc4 c5 9.Nf3 Qa5 black hopes that the bishop will be misplaced on d2, I was doing a little prep before the game and noticed this game Gulko-Adams with Qa5 liked the idea [9…Qc7 also fine or just b6] 10.Bd2 Qc7 11.Bd3 b6 12.e4 probably better is [12.Qe2 Bb7 13.e4 Qc6 14.Ne5 Qa4 Tactical antics ensue but white is fine. Milov-Lugovoi, 2002] 12…Ba6 after the bishops come off, white’s attacking chances become reduced; after e5 he will be left with a backward d-pawn and a hole on d5 13.Bxa6 Nxa6 14.e5 Ne4 intended to stop Ng5 where it could cause problems or land on d6 at some point 15.0-0 Rf-d8 for the same reason above [15…Qb7 good also] 16.Bg5 white insists on getting a knight to d6; black has to take it, or he could find himself in big trouble, as the knight on e4 doesn’t have a home 16…Nxg5 17.Nxg5 h6 18.Ne4 cxd4 19.cxd4 Qd7! black gets out of the way and prepares to dislodge the knight with his own 20.Nd6 Nc7 21.Qg4? giving up the d6 knight without a fight. Gulko probably got a little frustrated with the position and decided to burn some bridges [21.Nb7! anonying 21…Rdb8 22.Nd6 Nb5 23.Qa4 a6 24.Rab1] 21…Nb5 22.Nxb5 Qxb5 23.h4 Qb2 wins a pawn 24.Rad1 Qxa3 25.Rfe1 Qf8 making sure I don’t get mated, now just have to get the queenside rolling 26.f4 still coming ahead, although weakening probably lifting some rooks would of been better 26…Rd5 with the d pawn blockaded black pretty safe 27.f5 exf5 28.Qxf5 Rad8 29.Qg4 Qe7 30.e6 fxe6 31.Rxe6 Qd7 now black wins the d pawn too but white had to try something 32.Kh1 Rd6 [32…Rxd4?? 33.Rxd4 Qxd4 34.Re8+] 33.Rde1 Rxd4 34.R1e4 Rxe4-+ the next couple of moves are just spent trying to simplify and not get mated 35.Qxe4 Rf8 36.Re7 Qd6 37.Kg1 Qf4 38.Qe6+ Kh7 39.Rxa7 Qd4+ 40.Kh2 Qxh4+ 41.Kg1 Qf2+ 42.Kh2 Rf4 43.Ra3 Rh4+ 44.Rh3 Qf4+ 45.Kh1 Rxh3+ 46.Qxh3 Qc1+ 47.Kh2 Qb1 48.g4 b5 49.Qe3 Qc2+ 50.Kh1 b4 51.g5 b3 52.Qb6 hxg5 53.Qe6 Qd3 54.Qg4 Qf1+ 55.Kh2 Qf4+ 0-1 ”

Thanks, Tom.  Once again, I’ll say that Philadelphia’s having won the match is not shocking to me at all.  It should have been expected, or at least, suspected that Philadelphia would have won on Boards 3 and 4.  Two points from the lower boards count just as well as two points from Boards 1 and 2 towards the match, and so a draw or better could easily have been predicted for Philadelphia.  It also was rather unlikely that neither Smith nor Bartell could have managed to obtain a draw from his opponent.  Of course, Gulko came off an 8-0 winning streak, but it has been a long time since last season, and perhaps he hasn’t played any tournament games in the meantime.

Stay tuned for posts in upcoming weeks with player interviews and analysis.

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